Recent Posts

Fall Cleanup Update

19 Nov , 2014,
bburhoe
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Just a heads up as to our plans for our final fall cleanups of the 2014 season. I drove through many properties today and the leaves are 85-90% down. Unfortunately, those pesky Oak leaves still don’t want to drop. There’s another rain storm predicted for this weekend which hopefully will knock a bunch more of them down. We are planning to come through on Tuesday or Wednesday for another cleanup so you will look nice for Thanksgiving. If you have any questions on your fall cleanup, please feel free to give us a call!

Thanks, and if I don’t see you, Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Welcome Fall!

1 Sep , 2014,
bburhoe
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As we turn the corner on August and on the summer months, we are looking forward to a great fall season. There is so much landscaping to be done this time of the year especially once the leaves begin to fall. But before that time comes, the cooler temperatures signal a great time to seed, core aerate or renovate your lawn. Core aeration and overseeding are very common methods of revitalizing your lawn, and the best results are achieved when they are done together. Seed germinates and grows the best in the fall so in order to develop a strong, healthy lawn we recommend taking action now.

The fall is also an excellent time for planting many types of plants. Fall annuals add some color to complement the brilliant leaf colors seen above. These will often last all the way up until that first frost hits. Mums are a common autumn sight that come in many varieties and colors. Both planted mums and potted mums are a nice touch to any property. To get a head start on spring color, it’s a good idea to plant some of those spring perennials now in the fall. Actually, most of the spring bulbs have to be planted during the fall. It’s a great time to be thinking ahead for next spring. Even shrubs and trees benefit from being planted now. The soil temperature and cooler air temperatures give the roots a good start and the leaves lose less water. Whether it’s adding some color for the fall season or preparing for the spring season, right now is a great time to plant.

Though it’s not as exciting as a new planting, fall lawn maintenance is very critical during this time of year. Letting the leaves stay on your lawn is never a smart idea. The longer the leaves stay on the lawn the more potential there is for damage to the grass beneath especially if they get wet and matted down. We recommend regularly removing the leaves from the lawn during the fall with a final cleanup at the end of the season that includes all the beds as well. We can blow the leaves into any woods surrounding your lawn or vacuum them up and haul them away. In addition to leaves, branches and debris also tend to accumulate in the fall. We can help keep your yard stay clutter free by removing them for you. Weeds should also be taken care of so they don’t reappear come spring. If we can help you with any of this: lawn and bed maintenance, fall planting, core aeration, overseeding or lawn renovation, please give us a call!

Have a great Labor Day!

irrigation

Avoid Common Watering Mistakes – Irrigation

18 Jun , 2014,
bburhoe
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It looks like we are finally making the transition from spring to summer. Yesterday was our first really hot and humid day of the season, and it looks like more of the same today. We have just come out of an extremely wet month, but now the next 10 days look very dry. In light of that I wanted to share with you some thoughts on watering your lawn. The modern irrigation system is truly a saving grace if you want to maintain a nice lawn here in Connecticut as Mother nature is often too erratic to depend on. Unfortunately, I have seen many systems being used improperly which usually results in actually damaging the lawns instead of helping. In fact, most irrigation companies are not turf specialists and may set up the systems incorrectly.

Here are a few thoughts on irrigation mistakes:

  1. Set it once and forget it: There is often the misconception that you can set the system once in the spring and forget it. Unfortunately, temperatures and rainfall vary from season to season and year to year. You will want more water in the summer than the spring or fall. Most newer controllers have a setting where you can change the time across all zones with a simple % adjustment. It’s a great tool to make adjusting the watering easy.
  2. Our lawn is still green so we don’t need to water yet: This is another mistake often made. The roots of your lawn only extend into the top few of inches of the soil so it only takes 2-3 days of hot weather and no rain for the lawn to begin to stress. Begin your watering while the grass is still green, and it will stay that way. If you wait until it goes dormant, it may take weeks and cooler weather for it to green back up. It is always a good idea to water when you can because if a drought comes and watering bans are instituted a healthier lawn will survive the drought better.
  3. I should be watering every day: Wrong! More often than not, we see lawns that are watered too frequently but not long enough each time. Frequent, shallow watering encourages shallow roots and contributes to thatch accumulation, soil compaction, and even weed seed germination. Shallow roots also make your turf less healthy and more prone to disease, insect infestations, or damage from heat and cold. Deep watering produces deep roots and healthier grass. Everyone’s lawn is different when it comes to soil type, slope, and the condition of the lawn. Also another big factor in watering your lawn is water pressure which differs from house to house. Here are some easy step-by-step instructions to find your own watering schedule that will best benefit your lawn. It will take a little bit of your time but then you’ll know how much and when to water for the rest of the summer. Your lawn needs 1” to 2” of water per week, and each time you water, the water should reach a depth of 6” down into your lawn. Here’s how to determine your watering schedule:
    1. The next time you’re getting ready to water, set empty tuna fish-sized cans in strategic areas throughout your lawn before the sprinklers come on.
    2. Run your zones for 30 minutes.
    3. Stick a ruler into the tuna can and see how much water is in it, If you don’t have ½” of water, add time to that zone until you do.
    4. After you have gathered ½” of water in your tuna can, take a 6” screwdriver and push it into your lawn, up to the hilt. If it goes in easily, you’re done! If not, you need to water some more, perhaps gathering up to 1” in your tuna can. (Caution: If, at any time, water is running off the lawn and down the street, you need to stop for 20-30 minutes, let the water soak into the lawn, and then resume watering. This usually occurs due to heavy clay soil or because your soil is compacted.

My recommendation for most irrigation systems is 25-30 minutes per zone with rotators and 10-15 minutes per zone of popup sprays every other day. You may need to increase this if your lawn is in full sun. If your lawn needs more water increase the length of run time intead of adding days. Your lawn needs to dry out in between waterings to avoid fungus and oxygen depletion issues.

  1. I should be watering during the day: Wrong again. Watering during the day is extremely inefficient as much of the water evaporates before it even hits the ground. Watering during peak sun hours can also damage the lawn. Your goal should be to complete watering in the early morning. If your goal is to be done by 6am and you need 4 hours of run time, set the system to start at 2am. If you are watering by hose and sprinkler obviously this may not be possible, watering at any time is immeasurably better than not watering at all!
  2. It rained yesterday I can shut off my system: Most newer systems have rain sensors which will shut off the system if you get rain. If your system doesn’t have one you may want to consider adding one. If you don’t have one be careful about shutting your system off for rain as we often forget to turn them back on. It is a good idea to monitor the system as rain sensors can be fooled. A light rain may activate the sensor but not put down enough water to be effective. Conversely a heavy downpour can run right off your lawn and provide very little actual water to the soil.
  3. Mowing: It is best to try and coordinate your watering around your mowing schedule. It is best not to water the night before mowing is done. This allows for the most efficient mowing and minimizes damage mowers may do to a wet lawn. It is hard enough working around mother nature.

I know this is a lot to absorb, but it really isn’t too complicated. If you need help setting your system up for optimal performance don’t be afraid to call. I am happy to answer your questions or set it up for you. Once its set up, relax and enjoy a nice green lawn for the whole year. In the future as we observe issues or changes in the weather we will drop you an email update. I hope you found this helpful. Call us if we can help. 860-255-7463. Best wishes for a wonderful summer.

Dean Burhoe &  David Parent

Ready for Summer?

23 May , 2014,
bburhoe
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Ready for Summer?

Memorial Day is often called the “unofficial start to summer”.  Are you ready? It’s time to enjoy your lawn and patio like you could only dream about back in January. Flowers are in bloom, and the trees are now fully green. The grass is beginning to grow quickly, and the smell of fresh mulch is in the air as we take a moment to pause this weekend to remember the sacrifices made for our freedom. We hope you have a safe and happy weekend!

As many of the early spring bulbs are beginning to pass, it’s a good time to take a hard look at your garden and make a plan for the year. It’s good to take into consideration what worked last year, and what may not have. As plants grow, you may also need to think about dividing and transplanting. The healthiest perennial plants grow and perform the best when they have room to grow and spread. The heat of summer will stress out new transplants, but the moderate temperatures and regular rain makes this time of year a good time to divide and transplant. Of course, it’s important to care for them afterward no matter when you transplant. Another thing to plan now is when you will prune and how much. Doing it at the wrong time or taking too much off of a plant will harm and possibly kill the tree or shrub. It’s always a good idea to get advice if you are not sure on what you are doing. It’s takes time and planning to get that garden just right all season long.

I know it seems like spring just began, but our summer schedule is filling up fast. Our landscape crew is already booked out into the summer so if you’ve got a project that you’d like to get done in your yard, give us a call or send us an email. We’d love to help you out, and want to get you on the schedule.

Happy Memorial Day!